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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Daniel T. Smith, MSc, PhD, CPsychol

Personal web page

(email at

Research Interests

My research examines the interaction between the motor system, specifically the oculomotor system, and cognitive processes such as attention, working memory and motivation. My goal is to understand how activity in the motor system helps resolve competition between different representations in the visual system. I also try to apply these findings to developing news ways to understand and rehabilitate neuropsycholigcal disorders such as Hemianopia, Neglect and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). I use a variety of techniques, including neuropsychological studies of people with neurological impairments, lab-based studies with healthy participants, eye-tracking and neurostimulation (TMS / TDCS). I am also interested in motivation, in particular the effect of goals on persistence in athletes. You can follow my progress on twitter @AttentionLab.

Research Groups

Department of Psychology

Research Interests

  • Attention & Memory in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
  • Neurorehabilitation of visual field defects
  • Visual attention
  • Oculomotor control
  • Goals and motivation in sport

Teaching Areas

  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

    (11 hours/year.)
  • Psychology into Schools

    (15 hours/year.)
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

    (22 hours/year.)

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Smith, D.T. & Archibald, N. (2018). Visual Search in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. In Processes of Visuo-spatial Attention and Working Memory. Hodgson, T. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

Journal Article

  • Brockbank, R.D., Smith, D.T. & Oliver, E.J. (2020). Dispositional Goals and Academic Achievement: Refining the 2x2 Achievement Goal Model. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review
  • Casteau, S & Smith, D.T. (2019). Associations and Dissociations between Oculomotor Readiness and Covert Attention. Vision 3(2): 17.
  • Smith, D.T. & Casteau, S. (2019). The effect of offset cues on saccade programming and covert attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 72(3): 481-490.
  • Dunne, S, Ellison, A & Smith D.T. (2019). The Limitations of Reward Effects on Saccade Latencies: An Exploration of Task-Specificity and Strength. Vision 3(2): 20.
  • Casteau, S. & Smith, D.T. (2018). Covert Attention Beyond the Range of Eye-movements: Evidence for a Dissociation between Exogenous and Endogenous orienting. Cortex
  • Knight, Helen C., Smith, Daniel T., Knight, David C. & Ellison, Amanda (2018). Light social drinkers are more distracted by irrelevant information from an induced attentional bias than heavy social drinkers. Psychopharmacology 235(10): 2967-2978.
  • Morgan, Emma J., Freeth, Megan & Smith, Daniel T. (2018). Mental State Attributions Mediate the Gaze Cueing Effect. Vision 2(1): 11.
  • Smith, D.T. & Archibald, N. (2018). Spatial Working Memory in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Cortex
  • Becker, L., Smith, D.T. & Schenk, T. (2017). Investigating the familiarity effect in texture segmentation by means of event-related brain potentials. Vision Research 140: 120-132.
  • Cole, G.G., Atkinson, M.A., D’Souza, A.D.C. & Smith, D.T. (2017). Spontaneous Perspective Taking in Humans? Vision 1(17): 2-15.
  • Smith, Daniel T. & Lane, Alison R. (2017). Working memory enhances target detection in the blind hemifield. Visual Cognition 25(1-3): 4-9.
  • Knight, H.C., Smith, D.T., Knight, D.C. & Ellison, A. (2016). Altering attentional control settings causes persistent biases of visual attention. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 69(1): 129-149.
  • Cole, G.G., Atkinson, M., Le, A.T.D. & Smith, D.T. (2016). Do humans spontaneously take the perspective of others? Acta Psychologica 164: 165-168.
  • Smith, D.T., Ball, K., Swalwell, R. & Schenk, T. (2016). Object-based attentional facilitation and inhibition are neuropsychologically dissociated. Neuropsychologia 80: 9-16.
  • Cole, G.G., Smith, D.T. & Atkinson, M.A. (2015). Mental state attribution and the gaze cueing effect. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 77(4): 1105-1115.
  • Dunne, S., Ellison, A. & Smith, D.T. (2015). Rewards modulate saccade latency but not exogenous spatial attention. Frontiers in Psychology 6: 1080.
  • Smith, D.T., Ball, K. & Ellison, A. (2014). Covert visual search within and beyond the effective oculomotor range. Vision Research 95: 11-17.
  • Aimola, Lina, Lane, Alison R., Smith, Daniel T., Kerkhoff, Georg, Ford, Gary A. & Schenk, Thomas (2014). Efficacy and feasibility of home-based training for individuals with homonymous visual field defects. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair 28(3): 207-218.
  • Ellison, A., Ball, K.L., Moseley, P., Dowsett, J., Smith, D.T., Weis, S. & Lane, A.R. (2014). Functional Interaction between Right Parietal and Bilateral Frontal Cortices during Visual Search Tasks Revealed Using Functional Magnetic Imaging and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93767.
  • Pearson, D.G., Ball, K. & Smith, D.T. (2014). Oculomotor preparation as a rehearsal mechanism in spatial working memory. Cognition 132(3): 416-428.
  • Morgan, E.J., Ball, K. & Smith, D.T. (2014). The role of the oculomotor system in covert social attention. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 76(5): 1265-1270.
  • Lane, A.R., Ball, K., Smith, D.T. , Schenk, T & Ellison, A. (2013). Near and far space: understanding the neural mechanisms of spatial attention. Human Brain Mapping 34(2): 356-366.
  • Ball, K, Pearson, D G & Smith, D T (2013). Oculomotor involvement in spatial working memory is task-specific. Cognition 129(2): 439-446.
  • Smith, DT, Ball, K & Ellison, A (2012). Inhibition of Return impairs phosphene detection. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 24(11): 2262-2267.
  • Smith, D.T., Schenk, T. & Rorden, C. (2012). Saccade preparation is required for exogenous attention but not endogenous attention or IOR. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Human Perception and Performance 38(6): 1438-1447.
  • Lane, A.R., Smith, D.T., Schenk, T. & Ellison, A. (2012). The involvement of posterior parietal cortex and frontal eye fields in spatially primed visual search. Brain Stimulation 5(1): 11-17.
  • Smith, D.T. & Schenk, T. (2012). The Premotor theory of attention: Time to move on? Neuropsychologia 50(6): 1104-1114.
  • Aimola, L, Rogers, G., Kerkoff, G., Smith, D.T. & Schenk, T. (2012). Visuomotor adaptation is impaired in patients with unilateral neglect. Neuropsychologia 50(6): 1158-1163.
  • Lane, A.R., Smith, D.T., Schenk, T. & Ellison, A. (2011). The involvement of posterior parietal cortex in feature and conjunction visuomotor search. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23(8): 1964-1972.
  • Ball, K., Smith, D., Ellison, A. & Schenk, T. (2010). A body-centred frame of reference drives spatial priming in visual search. Experimental Brain Research 204(4): 585-594.
  • Smith, D.T., Ball, K., Ellison, A. & Schenk, T. (2010). Deficits of reflexive attention induced by abduction of the eye. Neuropsychologia 48(5): 1269-1276.
  • Smith, D.T. & Schenk, T. (2010). Inhibition of return exaggerates change blindness. Quarterly Journal Of Experimental Psychology 63(11): 2231-2238.
  • Lane, A. R. , Smith, D. T., Ellison, A. & Schenk, T. (2010). Visual exploration training is no better than attention training for treating hemianopia. Brain 133(6): 1717-1728.
  • Smith, D.T., Jackson, S.R. & Rorden, C. (2009). An intact eye-movement system is not required to generate Inhibition of Return. Journal of Neuropsychology 3(2): 267-271.
  • Ball, K., Smith, D., Ellison, A. & Schenk, T (2009). Both egocentric and allocentric cues support spatial priming in visual search. Neuropsychologia 47(6): 1585-1591.
  • Rogers, G, Smith, D.T. & Schenk, T (2009). Immediate and delayed actions share a common visuomotor transformation mechanism: A prism adaptation study. Neuropsychologia 47(6): 1546-1552.
  • Smith, D.T., Jackson, S.R. & Rorden, C. (2009). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over frontal eye fields disrupts visually cued auditory attention. Brain Stimulation 2(2): 81-87.
  • Carey, D.P, Smith, D.T., Martin, D., Smith, G., Skriver, J., Rutland, A. & Shepherd, J.W. (2009). The bi-pedal ape: Plasticity and asymmetry in footedness. Cortex 45(5): 650-661.
  • Smith, D.T., Lane, A.R. & Schenk, T. (2008). Arm position does not attenuate visual loss in patients with homonymous field deficits. Neuropsychologia 46(9): 2320-2325.
  • Lane, A.R., Smith, D.T. & Schenk, T. (2008). Clinical treatment options for patients with homonymous visual field defects. Clinical Opthalmology 2(1): 93-102.
  • Smith D.T. & Schenk, T. (2008). Reflexive attention attenuates change blindness (but only briefly). Perception & Psychophysics 70(3): 489-495.
  • Smith, D.T. & Schenk, T. (2007). Enhanced probe discrimination at the location of a colour singleton. Experimental Brain Research 181(2): 367-375.
  • Jackson, S. R., Newport, R., Osborne, F., Wakely, R., Smith, D. & Walsh, V. (2005). Saccade-contingent spatial and temporal errors are absent for saccadic head movements. Cortex 41(2): 205-212.
  • Smith, D. T., Jackson, S. R. & Rorden, C. (2005). Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the left human frontal eye fields eliminates the cost of invalid endogenous cues. Neuropsychologia 43(9): 1288-1296.
  • Smith, D. T., Rorden, C. & Jackson, S. R. (2004). Exogenous orienting of attention depends upon the ability to execute eye movements. Current Biology 14(9): 792-795.
  • Carey, D.P., Smith, G, Smith, D.T., Shepherd, JW, Skriver, J, Ord, L & Rutland, A (2001). Footedness in world soccer: an analysis of France '98. Journal Of Sports Sciences 19(11): 855-864.

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